‘The Pioneer Woman’: Ree Drummond’s Stuffed Pizza Crust Recipe Is a Clever Twist on a Classic

Ree Drummond created a recipe that focuses on the best part of pizza — the crust. The Pioneer Woman star’s stuffed pizza crust recipe leans on an easy shortcut and is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.

Ree Drummond wears a black, velvet top while giving a cooking demonstration on Stephen Colbert's talk show.
Ree Drummond and Stephen Colbert | Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images

Ree Drummond makes a stuffed pizza crust recipe

Drummond made her unique pizza recipe on an episode of The Pioneer Woman dedicated to dishes featuring the best parts of food.

“Have you ever noticed that with some recipes there’s one little part of it that tastes the best?” she asked. “Well, I thought it’d be fun to pull out those elements and turn them into recipes themselves.”

Drummond continued, “One of my favorite things to eat is pizza crust. So I’m going to make a cheese-stuffed pizza crust. I have a feeling it is going to rock my world.”

The Food Network host rolled pizza dough into a long rectangle and pressed down along the center with a rolling pin to make an indent to hold the filling. She topped the crust with a drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of salt.

Drummond confessed that she was using a shortcut for this step. “I’m actually cheating and using frozen bread dough that I thawed out,” she explained. “The star of the show is going to be the cheese itself so I didn’t need to go to the trouble of making a crust from scratch.”

‘The Pioneer Woman’ star added a quick homemade sauce

Drummond did make a homemade sauce, however. She explained how to make her easy arrabbiata sauce.

The Pioneer Woman star sauteed minced garlic, onion, and crushed red pepper flakes in oil. She added white wine, then whisked the mixture to deglaze the pan, and cooked it until the liquid reduced by half. Drummond added canned crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, sugar, and salt. Then she reduced the heat to low and simmered the sauce for 30 minutes.

“If you don’t like the spice you can totally leave it out and it’s just a really nice marinara sauce,” she noted.

After the sauce cooled, Drummond spooned a thin layer down the center of the pizza dough. She sprinkled parmesan cheese, grated mozzarella, and pepperoni on the dough then added string cheese pieces.

“You can just have some fun with this and do a veggie version with really finely diced olives and green peppers,” she said. “You could do Canadian bacon, cooked crumbled sausage. Gosh, who needs a big old wedge of pizza when you can have a nice, neat little crust?”

Drummond shared that she “became instantly addicted” when stuffed crust pizzas were invented. “It’s just so good. And if you’re a pizza crust lover like I am, to have that surprise of cheese inside is just so wonderful,” she explained.

The Food Network host pinched the sides of the dough together then placed the stuffed crust on an oiled sheet pan, seam side down, and formed it into a circle. She brushed the crust with a an egg wash before baking it in a 475 degree Fahrenheit oven for 15 minutes.

‘The Pioneer Woman’ star included a salad in the center of her stuffed pizza crust

Drummond added a special touch to the circle of stuffed dough. “If you’ve got the sauce and the toppings and the cheese all rolled into the crust, who needs the center part anyway? This has all you need right inside,” she said.

The Pioneer Woman star moved it to a serving board then made a tomato basil salad in the center by laying sliced tomatoes in a circle and tucking in basil leaves among the slices.

“It’s just so special and pretty,” Drummond noted. “Stuffed crust is definitely where it’s at.”

The full recipe is available on the Food Network website.

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